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I am bisexual.

My family knows this. My husband knows this. Many of my friends do as well. My daughter doesn't exactly know yet, but I plan to tell her soon-- she's 11, and although I've brought her up to understand that sexuality is not a choice, and homosexuality is (or at least should be) as acceptable as heterosexuality, I haven't quite found the ideal way to tell my daughter about my own circumstances.

I'm also happily married (imagine that, my handle here is MrsGeiiga, and my husband goes by Geiiga around here). As a woman, married to a man, I enjoy the benefits of "traditional" marriage. My husband, thankfully, understands my sexuality fully. And he fully trusts me--I've never given him a reason to distrust me, and I never will. They say the best relationships are built on mutual trust and respect, but since I'd never actually had a relationship built on those pillars, I didn't truly appreciate those qualities until I met my husband. Cliché as it sounds, our marriage does transcend everything else, and I'm grateful that our relationship is recognized by all of our society as something acceptable, something ideal. It breaks my heart to think that if things had turned out differently, if I'd met and fallen in love with a woman instead, our relationship would be scrutinized, disdained, discarded, particularly here in Kansas.

Part of the reason I haven't yet told my daughter about my bisexuality is that our society has such a hard time dealing with that concept. In some ways, it's easier for me as a bisexual woman. Thanks to the prevalence of "lesbian" porn (sure, there are some fairly accurate depictions, but generally, what's called "lesbian" porn consists of fulfilling male fantasies), the idea of bisexual women is generally more accepted in our society. And yet, it's not. This same genre of porn serves to illustrate the problem with perceptions of bisexuality: women can do sexual things with women only insofar as these actions are to please men. Meanwhile, as the media buzz over Clive Davis' memoir illustrates, men who identify as bisexual are derided as being gay, but afraid to "fully" come out. Even though I am bisexual, I myself have had a hard time with accepting male bisexuality--in high school, a bisexual boy was interested in me, but my fragile ego at the time couldn't handle the idea of getting emotionally involved with a guy who might leave me for another guy. Now that I'm comfortable with my own sexuality, I know how absurd it is for me to have such a double standard when it comes to bisexual men, and I'm working to change my mindset about that.

One thing that really gets to me about the general public perception of bisexuality is that people seem to think "bisexual" means "sex addict," or "incapable of fidelity." I've had relationships with women, and when I was still single, I talked to both women and men on dating sites. Had I fallen in love with a woman, I would have happily married her and enjoyed our life together. I didn't, though. A little over a year ago, I met and instantly fell in love with my husband. I still find women attractive. It's kind of fun, actually. My husband and I both point out attractive women to each other, and it enriches our relationship. But just as I know that he's crazy about me, and wouldn't ever cheat on me, he also knows that I won't cheat on him--with a man or a woman. I greatly enjoyed the relationships I had with women--in fact, I've remained close friends with one ex, who also wound up marrying a man a few years ago. But I wouldn't trade my marriage with my husband for anything. Since he and I both know this, it's a non-issue in our relationship, but it breaks my heart to see that so much of our society doesn't understand bisexuality at all.

I'm not sure how this is for bisexual men, but for bisexual women, another issue is that many people in society tend to think that women who are bisexual are "going through a phase," or "chose" to date members of the same sex because of damage in past hetero relationships. When I started seeing my ex-girlfriend, I took my parents out to dinner and came out to them. Thankfully, both my parents were fully supportive. I'll always be grateful to them for this, because I know it surprised them. So I don't bring up this next point to complain about my dad (I love him dearly and I know the feeling is mutual), but rather to further illustrate the problematic perception of bisexuality. When I came out to my parents, they both told me they loved me and supported me no matter what--but my dad also added that he wasn't surprised I'd "try" women, after my horrible first marriage.

I was, in fact, in a horribly abusive marriage before I started dating women. My ex-husband, at very least, is mentally ill, but I highly suspect he is schizophrenic. I definitely was damaged by our marriage. But my bisexuality was ingrained in me long before that first marriage. I never consciously thought about girls or women at the time, but like most teenagers, I had many highly sexual dreams, and (unlike most teenagers) about half of them involved female classmates. I didn't "try" women because of the abuse I'd endured; I went out with women because I found myself genuinely attracted to them. Before meeting my new husband, however, most of the men I dated were physical polar opposites of my first husband. That, I'm sure, was the result of a desire to steer as clear from reminders of that relationship as possible... and those relationships wound up being intensely unhealthy. The women I dated, however, were confident and self-assured, and those relationships were far healthier, albeit short-lived.

This brings me to the next common perception, that women "try" women when they can't find a man. After all I'd been through in my life, after being married and divorced, after dating both women and men, all I knew was that I wanted to fall in love. I wouldn't have talked to women on dating sites if I hadn't seriously thought I wanted a long-term relationship with them. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone with whom I had mutual respect and love; I wasn't casting a wider net just for the sake of it, I knew I could spend the rest of my life with whomever captured my heart (and vice versa), regardless of their gender.

Along with this goes another misconception: that all women who say they are bisexual are only doing things with women to get the attention of men. This does happen--I've personally witnessed it. It's depressing. The women who do this, generally, are insecure and trying to spice things up with their husbands/boyfriends. When I was single, I had to specify on my dating profiles that I wasn't interested in being any couple's third wheel, because generally those scenarios involved men who wanted to watch a real life lesbian porn scene acted out in their bedrooms, and women who wanted only to help realize their husband's fantasies (Note: this is not to denigrate those who have successful polyamorous relationships--it's just not for me). As a genuinely bisexual woman, there are few things less appealing than a woman who is clearly only touching you because her husband/boyfriend wants her to.

As I've said, I am in the most satisfying, fulfilling, happy relationship I've ever experienced. What my husband and I have is rare. I still lust after women (and the occasional hot guy), but my bisexuality does not make me a philanderer. Just as a person's heterosexuality (or homosexuality) is not a determining factor in whether they will cheat, neither is bisexuality. As long as a person's needs are fulfilled, they don't feel the need to step out. My husband may not have a vagina or breasts, but even though I'm bisexual, I don't need to experience sex with both genders. Yes, my husband knows that if our relationship ever ended, I could wind up with a woman in my next relationship. But I'm immensely happy with my husband, I'm deeply in love with him, and as such, we are faithful to one another.

In many ways, I wish I didn't need to write this diary. My husband and I know where we stand, and in the end, that's the most important thing for us. But in remaining quiet about this, those of us who are bisexual struggle with unique burdens that manifest in unexpected ways. I applaud Clive Davis for coming out--he didn't really need to, but if more bisexual celebrities publicly embrace their sexuality, perhaps we as a society will come to a greater understanding and acceptance of it.

Born and raised in Topeka, my husband has wanted to do something about Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church for most of his life. If our Kickstarter succeeds, we will go on location to as many of their protests as we can, counter-protesting in amusing ways where appropriate, or somber and insightful when the situation calls for it (i.e., the funerals they picket). I'm sure as far as the Phelps family is concerned, I'm going straight to hell when I die, and so will my husband because his acceptance of me is just as damning. But if I can play a part in bringing about greater cultural awareness to bisexuality, and if I can help bring true tolerance to a place as bullied as Topeka is by the Phelpses, I will die a happy woman.

*UPDATE* Thank you everyone, for the warm reception. I was scared, now I feel even more validated. And I'm really enjoying the discussion, although I seem to miss a couple of replies here and there. I'll keep responding, we're snowed in, I've got nowhere else to go!

Originally posted to MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, and Sex, Body, and Gender.

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Comment Preferences

  •  at my age.. (17+ / 0-)

    at my age I am finding that the real stigma is with "sexuality" of any kind.

    The idea that sexuality should still exist into middle age and have some sort of purpose (other than pretending one is youthful) seems unthinkable to folks I know in my age group.

    Perhaps I'm just worn down and depressed this week.

    •  What does age have to do with it? (7+ / 0-)

      Even if people don't discuss their sexuality publicly, it does form a substantial part of our identities. Advancing age shouldn't preclude people from having at least some interest in sex. As long as we are in touch with our own sexual identity, that enhances our lives. Granted, I've always been a highly sexual being, and I know there are lots of people with little to no interest in sex--that's also acceptable, as long as you're comfortable with your own identity.

      The issue with our society, at least for now, is that it's a hard enough struggle for people who don't fit into the heterosexual mold to accept their own identities. Adding in the societal bigotry and general lack of acceptance makes it even harder. I've known I was bisexual since I was a teenager, but didn't truly accept it about myself until the past 4-5 years. Being unable to accept such an integral part of yourself has a ripple effect through the rest of your life--I still haven't become completely comfortable with all of myself, but accepting my own sexuality brought me a long way toward personal acceptance of my life as a whole.

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:07:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrsGeiiga, NancyWH, Geiiga

      One's age hits some multiple of five, and society says it's over.  

      And people believe this shit.

    •  it's because Christie is at 74% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrsGeiiga, Geiiga

      i'm 50 and been feeling down too, plus it's the worst flu season in years and everyone is sick. Had it twice myself. Plus it got brutally cold in NJ after a tease of warm temps. Spring is around rhe corner, but we will likely be facing one more snowstorm because theconditions will be favorable in the next two weeks. After that we can break out the rods, golf clubs, and garden spades and put the boots back inthe closet.

      •  I was thinking about to beat him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrsGeiiga, leftangler

        For whatever reason people are going to like Christie.  He has the ability to charm.  I don't deny that I've chuckled and approved of a few of the one-liners he's put out over the years.

        In order to beat Christie, we need to say something like "Gosh...Governor Christie is a very nice person, but man..he's on the wrong team!".

        Whoever runs against Christie needs to be able to run against the Republican party.

        I see an add campaign that features Eli Manning, compared with Archie Manning.  Sure Archie might have been cool, but he played for the wrong team, just like our (unfortunately) lovable governor.

        Just my 2-cents ready to evaporate into the ether.

        •  the message seems to be that he (0+ / 0-)

          "took on the teachers" as if that did anything but rob workers of hard fought gains. Honestly, he has not done a goddamned good thing in the state yet. What he does have is 101.5, the Ledger and Morning Joe singing his praises day in, day out....

  •  This is going to sound strange.... (15+ / 0-)

    But I've noticed a real shift in the way bisexual men are accepted, at least by women, because of the popularity of our romance books that feature bisexual male characters and, to a lesser degree, gay romance.  We can't keep them on the shelf! Love it love it seems...and hot sex is hot sex.

    As you said, men have been able to drool openly about two women together for years but if you brought up two men together people got uncomfortable. Not so much anymore. At least in my circles! I used to do it for fun and bring up my attraction to bisexual men in conversation to see who twitches. It happens less and less now. The most common response when other women are around is "Oh, that's hot".

    Does this mean they are making headway towards general acceptance? Maybe not, but inroads are being paved.

  •  I'm hoping the problem is generational (16+ / 0-)

    As you probably know, I'm over 60 and I came out in 1971. At that age, I could function with women as well as I could with men, and every man I did it with was going to be the last one. Circumstances (alone in a city on the other side of the country) brought me out, but for the three months between that and when I graduated from college, I hid behind "bi". I'm not that uncommon among gay men my age. That, I think, is where the problem with bi men for gay men my age comes from (I also had to work with a guy in San Francisco who had the wife and kids stashed in Napa while he spent Monday-Thursday nights in the gay bars in the city. That didn't help).

    I am grudgingly beginning to understand it's not always like that any more. Kinsey had 3s and 4s, after all.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:03:10 AM PST

    •  Wow! You came out the year I was born! (8+ / 0-)

      My mom went to her High School prom with her gay friend back in the late 50's. She said it was an open "secret" and most people were accepting.  Maybe even moreso than today.  But he couldn't live openly.

    •  Yeah, projecting is a big part of the stigma (7+ / 0-)

      ...Especially for gay men in our current society, who struggle to live "normal" lives, only to find that they can't do that when their genuine attraction is only to other men. Combined with the tendency in our society to pigeonhole people into neat categories, it's easy to assume that all bisexuals are only fooling themselves.

      Whenever people fight their own nature, they're going to engage in transgressions that reveal their true selves--this applies to everything in life, not just sexuality.

      I hope you're right, and that this is only a passing trend in the path toward full acceptance.

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:14:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We are something of an age and I don't agree (7+ / 0-)

      with you it is generational.  I think the Reagan Revolution and its faux morality set back sexual equality 75 years.  I find the younger set beset with religiosity and a genuine dislike for anything not heterosexual

    •  I'm 52, and most gay guys my age . . . (11+ / 0-)

      have had sex with women at some point in their lives.  In my own case, it was part of an effort to deny my true sexual orientation.  I was foolishly hoping that if I had sex with women, I would learn to like it and would lose my attraction to men.  Well, that strategy sure didn't work.

      The fact that I had sex with a couple women didn't make me bisexual though.  My orientation was and remains homosexual.  And this just serves to illustrate the diarist's point.  Our orientation and our behavior are not the same thing.  The diarist is bisexual by orientation, but that doesn't somehow compel her to divide her sexual attentions equally between men and women at all times.  

      My ex is bisexual.  At first I had trouble grasping the idea that he could truly be attracted to both men and women.  Eventually I came to understand and accept it, though.  He said he got different things out of sex with men than he got out of sex with women.  It's still hard for me to "get it" completely, but I can at least comprehend the general idea.

      And the diarist is right about the pervasive intolerance of bisexuals.  I really wish people could give up this kind of black and white thinking that requires everyone in the world to be divided into either "straight" or "gay."  Sure, lots of us fit into those categories, but not everyone does.  I think Kinsey had it basically right with his scale.  Even though I'm about as gay as they come, there have been a couple times in recent years when I've felt a sexual attraction to a woman.  

      The bottom line is that people are complex beings.  Human sexuality is one of the most complex behaviors in which we complex beings engage.  We should really try to understand and accept the range of sexual desire, behavior, and expression that's evident in our species.  I think we'd all be happier if we did.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:52:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even as adults, we want everything simple (8+ / 0-)

        We tend to have an easier time accepting things we can easily understand. Which I think is why bisexuality in particular is so difficult for most people to grasp. From the time we're children, we're taught, by adults and by our own experiences, to classify everything, to make sense of things. Bisexuality inherently eschews traditional classifications. Even now that I'm fully comfortable with my own identity, I still have trouble explaining it to other people.

        We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist here.

        by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:09:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not just to classify things. (8+ / 0-)

          We are very very good at creating binaries.

          Good bad, light dark, left right, up down, near far.

          It probably comes from having bilateral symmetry - just look at how popular 'on the other hand' and OTOH are as an idiom.

          There are entire segments on 'opposites' in kids' television programming devoted to firming up the words for these binaries - you will never see a 'near far' demonstration that includes a middle ground, unless perhaps they throw in suffixes and go for 'nearest nearer near far farther farthest'.

          So then you get 'interesting' reactions when binary categories that seem to have static membership get smashed apart - like rserven's diary recently where someone speaking from religious belief claimed being intersex was sinful; the ongoing issue where people refuse over and over to believe good people like youth pastors and coaches can do bad things like molest kids and/or teens to the point where things don't get reported because 'that can't be true!'; the way some Christian groups lump everyone not like them into one religious category presumed to be pretty much alike; or the way bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexuality break up the 'attracted to men' / 'attracted to women' false binary and as such boggle even many people who are willing to accept 'attracted to people of the same personal plumbing' as an allowable-in-the-world category.

          Better framing would be a dual binary system of 'attracted to men / not attracted to men' and 'attracted to women / not attracted to women', but even that leaves the pansexuals out in some ways and that isn't a system a lot of people are willing to get their minds around anyway.

          Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

          by Cassandra Waites on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:55:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Serial monogamist is probably (10+ / 0-)

    the easiest term to define yourself to others.

    I ended up having to explain poly to my doctor today.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:03:22 AM PST

  •  thank you for your courage in bringing out this (5+ / 0-)

    issue.  People fear the unknown and the new and hate anything which lies outside their province of experience.  Add to this a lack of sex education in our schools and the preponderance of religious education, not only in religious institutions but in schools, media and everday life.

    Growing up in the 50s, I learned sex from the customary sources, the street, peers and what i could piece together.  Issues of homosexuality and bisexuality never came up except when someone was called out with derision as being one of the two, which usually ended with a fist fight (and even a few knife fights; we were idiots)

    Today things have changed to some extent but years of GOP control has left us mired in 50s morality and ignorance.  Therefore, the old fear is still here, uneducated and hating and we are as much in the closet in some ways as we were in the 50's when growing up with an attraction to both sexes was not something you admitted and something you denied

    •  Most of what I know about bisexuality... (6+ / 0-)

      ...I learned from my wife.

      It's really apparent that the hatred for minorities stems from fear and ignorance. Nothing gets a Republican to turn liberal on an issue faster than a family member being affected. My upbringing was as conservative and religious as anybody's, but I found once I got in the real world and met people who were actually gay (or liberal) that the descriptions of the fearful "Christians" who taught me bigotry were a load of bunk.

      We're doing an anti-Westboro Baptist documentary. Help us here.

      by Geiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:19:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's still boggling to think you were ever Repub. (5+ / 0-)

        And whenever you can humanize something, people usually understand it better. It's easier to judge abstractions that happen to other people, not so much when it's happening to loved ones.

        We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

        by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:56:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It amazes me some of the things they teach here (9+ / 0-)

      Like when my daughter had to tell her social studies teacher that she was wrong, that Obama IS a citizen, and this should not be up for debate.

      ...Of course, in saying that, I realize she's probably ready to handle my sexuality. But her teacher would not be able to handle it at all.

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think things are miles better than you say... (7+ / 0-)

      Attitudes about homosexuality are changing pretty rapidly. When I graduated high school in Iowa in 2005, there was one openly gay guy in my class of 650+ and several other guys who were known to be bi (myself included). Since then, all of the bi-identified guys have come out as gay, and some people who'd never pinged at all on my gaydar have come out as bisexual.

      Now, when my sister graduated in 2010, one of the speakers at her commencement mentioned his boyfriend, which was met with applause. Just her circle of high school friends included several openly gay and bi people. This is anecdotal, but no one in my generation (Millennials) seems to care about anyone else's sexuality. And I only see this attitude getting more and more prevalent, rather than the opposite.

      "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

      by rigcath on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:34:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  give it time; even enlightened people can (6+ / 0-)

        change and when there is an opportunity which depends upon bashing minorities or gays or whatever, many people will choose the opportunity over principle.

        I would venture a guess that in your locale, even if there is a "gay scene' that it remains sequestered.  This is the way it has always been, whether the basis of minority or sexuality is used to discriminate.

        Sequestration is an old issue as some of us remember Stonewall and the riots

        •  Not really. (6+ / 0-)

          I don't think there's much of a "gay scene" here anymore, at least nowhere near the extent of what it was even ten years ago; not because it's hidden or sequestered or dying, but because the gay community is gradually integrating into the culture at large. Gay bars in general seem to be struggling--it seems like at least one major, culturally significant gay bar somewhere in the US closes every week--because as straight people come to accept us more and more, the demand for a "safe space" for LGBT people to congregate is shrinking rapidly.

          "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

          by rigcath on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:03:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  as far as gay bars, they have always existed (4+ / 0-)

            going back as far as the 1900s; they just did not advertise themselves as such but everyone knew what they were and they were more likely to have morality raids by the cops.  They were just underground

          •  I suspect that the closing of gay bars owes more (4+ / 0-)

            to grindr and scruff than to gays "integrating in the culture at large".  But I agree that tolerance and acceptance are on the rise, and that is wonderful.

            •  When I was single... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, NancyWH

              I chose to try to meet people through online dating, because I was more comfortable being "out" in that environment. I could look at the profiles, see their declared sexuality ("Interested in"), and start a conversation after that. I knew I was open to having a relationship with a woman, but I also had no idea how to go about meeting women in public here. Ideally, someday we won't need special places for the LGBT community to meet up here, but for now, it's a pretty hostile environment.

              We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist here.

              by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:15:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's a little better in Lawrence, still abysmal (6+ / 0-)

          As part of our pre-production work for The Tolerance Project, we were going to reach out to local LGBT organizations in Topeka, only to find that there are no such places--only online chapters of national organizations. Lawrence has some resources, including LGBT clubs at the University of Kansas, but for those who are LGBT in Topeka, there are basically no local outreach organizations. We really want to change that down the road.

          We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

          by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:11:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps my perception is skewed (5+ / 0-)

        Since Westboro Baptist is practically in our backyard. Okay, so they're 30 minutes away from our house, but that's WAY too close.

        We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

        by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:58:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, geography does matter... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrsGeiiga, Cassandra Waites, NancyWH

          Kansas is not going to see the same social patterns as the biggest city in a state that's stubbornly refused to become a fiery hellhole after gay marriage was legalized a few years ago. But I think it's clear that momentum is toward progress even in the least progressive places, and it's courageous people like you, choosing to be open about your sexuality, who have the biggest impact.

          "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

          by rigcath on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:16:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was scared, but knew I had to do it (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rigcath, Cassandra Waites, NancyWH

            The Phelpses have already taken notice of our Kickstarter, so I didn't really want to add more fuel to their fire, but my sexuality is a big part of why I'm so enthusiastic about our film project. It didn't seem right for me to keep my own sexuality hidden when that's precisely why I feel it's so important for my husband and me to take on this project.

            We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

            by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:23:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for sharing (6+ / 0-)

    As a hetro, married woman, I have always thought that if people were truely honest with themselves they would find they lean bisexual. I have been attracted to the opposite sex, but never acted out on this attration. I have been a 'friend of family' for my whole adult life and my best friend came out to me first when we were in college. Probably because I had the reaction he was hoping for 'ok, so what are we going to do tonight? Movie? Dinner?' I also think that society is becoming more accepting and they probably were for awhile but afraid of reprecussions and not wanting to be the first on the block bringing a cake to the new gay neighbors. I think this attidude is changing and we are witnessing a renessance of sorts. Pretty much don't really care what other people do so long as it is consenting adults.
    My daughter is 14 and has a bisexual friend. I am amazed. She is 14 and A) knows what her sexuallity is and B) says it proudly and C) 'So what!? What are YOU going to try and do to me for this!
    This was not the case when I was growing up!
    Thanks for being part of the change and so courageous!

    United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

    by Penny GC on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:17:54 AM PST

    •  I've lived away from the Bay Area for far too long (5+ / 0-)

      I moved to Kansas City in 1999, mainly because the cost of living is so much lower here than in California. But I miss how much more enlightened other cities are. Not sure where you live, Penny, but I'm pretty sure that here, teenage bisexuals/homosexuals have a much harder time of it. Things have advanced here a lot, but it's still pretty backward. I'm just glad I can teach my daughter acceptance, and all the other things her school won't teach her (evolution, climate change, etc).

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist!

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:28:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am from the Seattle area (0+ / 0-)

        But grew up in rural WA state. And by rural I mean backwards. Bullying was the rule, rape was for anything with a hole. I am sure that there is still horrible things happening where I was raised in 'farm country'. I moved myself to 'the big city' (yeah, right!) when I was in my 20's. Moved back to rural Wa to have a family. I feel that the way WE teach our children matters so much more than what they are taught in schools. I am positive that my daughter is so accepting of her friend because I am. I have told both my girls that being accepting does not mean that you have to do what you are accepting, just be ok with others being who they are. I hope they carry these reminders with them. That is why it hurts me so deeply when I see a toddler spouting slurs and bigotry, because the parents are doing their child a huge disservice.
        I just hope the tide is truely turning and we see more people come forward with their stories.

        United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

        by Penny GC on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:48:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've been thinking about the Kinsey Scale. (5+ / 0-)

      (Wikipedia entry here, for the curious.)

      Essentially Kinsey's conclusion -- years ahead of its time -- was that almost everybody is bisexual-leaning-towards-one-gender, either one's own or the opposite.

      I wonder what things are going to look like in another few generations, when the stigma is that much less.

      •  Agreed. Forgot about that study. (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for the link!

        United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

        by Penny GC on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:49:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  seeing this scale as a young adult meant a lot (0+ / 0-)

        to me.
        I think younger people might not be totally aware of how much this changed...even in high school in the 80s (in the northeast), NO ONE was out of the closet and sexuality wasn't discussed. People were teased for being "queer" as a pajorative (especially boys by other boys) but no one was sure who was or even really talked or thought about it. It was very repressive.

        So the scale meant a lot. It meant that I was normal.

  •  Anyone interested in starting a group called 'Sex' (9+ / 0-)

    here on Kos for posts like this?

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:41:09 AM PST

  •  My daughter is 17, (7+ / 0-)

    a junior in high school, and a completely "out" bisexual. She came out to me (and her mom) when she was 14. She knew us well enough to know we wouldn't care :).

    This has nothing to do with "good" or "bad" sex with either or both genders, because she was a complete virgin at 14 (she still is, actually, though not from lack of trying :D). It's about attraction. Who can you imagine getting in bed with? For daughter, that question has answers from any and all genders.

    Luckily, we're in MA, where nobody at her school cares. Many of her friends are either bi, or gay, and out about it. (The ones that have problems do so with adults, parents included, not their peers.) Daughter tells me she gets far more crap about being pagan than she does about being bi.

    Yes, she's bi and pagan. Also a creative-writing-and-drama nerd. Oh, and she's a depressive. She's a piece of work, that kid--and I say that as a complete compliment :).

    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

    by ChurchofBruce on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:17:45 PM PST

    •  You're lucky to have each other! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, NancyWH

      No matter what, I'm sure your daughter is grateful to have parents who nurture and accept her unconditionally. It's too bad more parents aren't like that. As a whole, we'd be a much happier society if we were all raised with such understanding.

      Your daughter sounds great, and in such a nurturing environment, you probably learn a lot from each other. Awesome all around.

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist here.

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:23:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a bisexual man, (7+ / 0-)

    and my wife is a bisexual woman.

    That's part of what brings us together. It's awkward. People think that you're not genuinely bisexual if you're in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Which is dumb.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:20:28 PM PST

    •  It IS dumb (4+ / 0-)

      When people are heterosexual or homosexual and in a relationship, people expect that they're monogamous. But bisexuality is equated with polyamory, and although the two do overlap somewhat, they're NOT the same thing at all.

      As for me and my husband, I'm bisexual and my husband is straight. We kind of have a yin-yang thing going there... I was, well, quite experienced in life, shall we say, before meeting my husband, but he was quite the opposite. I was kind of surprised that he fell for me, given all my baggage and his comparative lack thereof. We enrich each other. But before I met him, I talked to SO many men here who simply couldn't handle the idea of bisexuality. Typically the response was either, "Oh hot, if we meet, can we have a threesome? I've always wanted to do that!" or "Well, you just need to find a REAL man so you don't want women. Like me" eyeroll

      My husband took my bisexuality in stride. When he accepted that fact as easily as he accepted the fact that I have blue eyes, I knew he was the one for me.

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist here.

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:35:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a crazy attitude I have trouble understanding (0+ / 0-)

        hetero--you like opposite sex
        hom-you like same sex
        bi-you can like either sex

        It seems so simple. Doesn't mean you have to be with multiple people at the same time!

        I had bisexuality explained to me at a young age--middle school (this is in the 70s). Someone's brother was bisexual and he was out. So my friend explained it to me and it made total sense. He loves the person and what sex they are doesn't matter to him, she said.

        It made sense to me at 12. Why it's hard for some people to deal with seems strange...yet I know that it is. You even say some men coudn't handle it. Maybe they were young?
        In any case, surely your husband is the normal one in his acceptance.

  •  At least Mr. WH isn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, MrsGeiiga

    a homophobe anymore.  Now if I could only get him to admit he's a closet misogynist.
       Ever since I could think, I "knew" I should have been a boy.  Not for reasons of copulation, but because the boys had the social status I wanted for myself.  In Kindergarden, I joined the boys in chasing the girls with worm & frogs.  But I wasn't just being a "tomboy."
       In 1st grade, the boys didn't want me hanging around anymore.  I bet them I could get 100% on the day's math drill.  If I didn't, I wouldn't bother them again.  I got that 100, but they still shut me out.
       In 5th grade, Margaret Chase Smith was running for president & the boys ridiculed her.  "A girl can't be president."  I was sufficiently cowed by then I just laughed along with them, but inside I was steaming.
       My younger daughter is bi & no one cares.  She can date whoever whenever.
       My only remaining  obstacle to perfect happiness is getting Mr. WH to admit he still assumes a lot of male privledge.  Until he does, I have the great satisfaction of trashing him on Facebook, as he is not on my Friends list.    

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:39:07 PM PST

    •  Sounds like uh... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Quite the marriage! Hopefully you guys are mostly happy aside from this (my husband's on Daily Kos all the time, but I'm not all that often so I don't really know people's stories yet).

      We're conducting an experiment in filmmaking as civil rights activism in The Tolerance Project. Help us combat Westboro Baptist here.

      by MrsGeiiga on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:18:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I go to the school (0+ / 0-)

        that says if you're happy 51% of the time, be it kids, career, marriage, you have something to work with.  Chasing greener grass is a waste if you haven't given where you are your best shot.  Unless your being used or abused, happiness begins from within.
          That last line in my comment was kind of tounge in cheek.  I read a supposed LTE to "Ms. Magazine"  "My husband cancelled my subscription to your magazine.  For now, I get a great deal of satisfaction serving him tuna cassarole made from cat food."
           I don't think I have a story here yet.  I have been all over the place like a 4 year old in a toystore.  I didn't mention above, Mr. WH is 17 years younger than I am.  I thought it would assure a less "traditional" male.  In this case at least, it wore off.  I am happy with my life, though, thank you.    

        "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

        by NancyWH on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:51:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Males got snookered. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What they got snookered by is the meme "After the '60s, traditionalism is the new rebellion."  Everyone wants to be a rebel.  So what we get is a society of male traditionalists thinking they're being rebels against Our Oppressive Hippie Overlords because they can keep their rock'n'roll soundtrack because it's the music that matters, right?  So get a haircut, you DFH, blah blah blah.

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

          by Panurge on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:03:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! I like how you write. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so happy for you that you've found the deep love and partnership that you describe in your marriage. I think your diary is useful since some people just don't understand (which I don't understand) that bisexual doesn't mean you sleep with everyone, just as heterosexual doesn't.
    Like what you are doing to WBC as well!

  •  I have dated 2 bisexual men (0+ / 0-)

    one who was actually only "20%" attracted to women, in his own words.

    I had a long term monogamous relationship with him, and it was never an issue for me at all. I think it's actually very attractive for a man to be that comfortable in his own sexuality to admit he's attracted to other men, and not feel like that is a reflection on his masculinity. I'm bisexual although I have never been in a defined monogamous relationship with a woman, and I don't think that's in the cards (it's just a different type of attraction)

    I can't wait for the day when there are no labels, and people finally "get" what Kinsey discovered years ago-that sexuality is a spectrum, and most people's true orientation falls somewhere in the middle.

    You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

    by SwedishJewfish on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:46:09 AM PST

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